14 Money Saving Challenges to Save More For 2019
Perhaps, you have realized that financial planners and financial media are always encouraging people to save more money. But you may ask, If I already have the money to pay for my needs, why should I worry about setting an amount of money aside each month whereas I could use it? You are not alone. Most people ask the same question too. There are many reasons to start saving a percentage of your monthly earnings. Apart from saving for retirement, emergencies or the down payment for the house you target, you should save for the larger known expenses. That is known as the sinking fund or the money you set aside for the future expenses such as the repairs for your vehicle, the yearly taxes you owe the authorities or the improvements on your property and other possessions.
The savings will help you avoid sinking into the emergency fund. You can start setting aside the sinking fund depending on the cost of the items you are targeting such as the kitchen remodel or the cost of vehicle repairs. But, how should you start saving more? Here are several tips to help you do that.
1. Create the family budget
It can be hard to control your savings without a proper family budget to help you track your spending. Statistics show that only two individuals in every five are likely to watch their daily spending or monthly spending closely and that figure has stagnated since the year 2007. People who prepare household budgets are usually ready to overcome any unexpected financial challenge and remain on track to attain their savings goals.
Without a proper budget, you will be running the risk of taking many debts or even damaging your credit by missing your monthly loan or credit card payments. And because it can be hard to manage your monthly budget, particularly when your expenses are higher than the income, you should get financial help from experts. They will help you with the planning part.
2. Start by organizing the grocery shopping
You should be organized when going for your grocery shopping so that you can save more money. Start by making a list of the items you will have to buy and if you have related coupon codes, use them. With a maximum budget of the amount you are ready to spend, you will manage to remain on the track and avoid overspending. Try to do your shopping earlier in the week when the stores are not crowded. Crowded stores are a source of stress and that is not good if you want to remain budget-conscious. The other better way of avoiding shopping stress and sticking to your monthly budget involves leaving your kids at home. Most people who make the mistake are likely to spend more due to the kids’ demands.
3. Eliminate the services you can do without
Did you know that most people have several services that they rarely or do not use at all? If the gym membership is not of any help, it is the right time to cancel it. It can also be the cable television or the landline telephone service. The monthly cost might be less than $50, but it will add up within the year to a huge amount. An easier way of doing that is to keep your constant budget going. If you are a man, your wife might be the king when it comes to most household plans but engage her when reviewing what you spend each month. Financial planning is in important in business too to avoid spending cash on the tools or the subscription services you do not need.
4. Avoid buying off the shelf
Each time you need a new item, particularly the expensive ones; you should not buy it off the shelf. The available online stores make price comparison work easier. Using your smartphone or computer, log into each of them and check the price tag of the item. That way, you will manage to buy from the one offering it at the lowest price. Check the manufacturer’s website too and the retailers to see whether they are offering any coupons. Check whether there are any second-hand items to buy because they will help you save more.
By starting with research when shopping for the pricy items, you will manage to save hundreds of dollars each year. That might not be necessary for the smaller items, because you can end spending most of the time you would use for other important things. Set a threshold, such $50 and above as the starting point for the items that require some research. Most people, particularly those building new homes, have used the method to save more money.
5. Participate in the reward programs
Most companies, from all over the world offer reward programs, but only a few people participate in them. When possible, participate in them. You just need to sign up and keep monitoring the increase of your points. For example, the Amazon credit card will give you real money that you can use for shopping on the online store. Allow the amount to accumulate until you require something. Some reward programs will allow you to fly without incurring any amount. In fact, some people travel ten times each year free.
6. Do not fly if a bus ticket can work
Today, air travel is more common and many people are using it as the default choice when traveling. It might be a good choice when traveling for business, particularly when your time is limited. But when traveling with your whole family and the trip is a few miles away, you do not need air travel.
By driving, you will not only save on the airfare, but you will also have a car ready for use after you get to your destination. If your family vehicle is not up to the task, rent one of the compact vehicles that go for $300-$400 per every week or nearly the cost of one airline ticket. Also, search for the available methods for saving money on car rentals, restaurants, hotel stay, and travel attractions.
7. Sell anything that you do not need any more
Instead of throwing away the items that you do not need, you can sell them to get an additional amount to save. Organize a garage sale one or two times each year and sale on eBay or Craiglist. By doing that, you will manage to raise some additional money each year. Moreover, people within your area might have established Facebook groups to facilitate the selling of such items. Selling a couch that you bought around 6 years ago would be easier on such platforms than you would expect with some online stores. Start by selling the items you do not use before you think about replacing those that you use.
8. Buy your family clothing in discount or thrift stores
Some people buy a blouse or shirt for $40 in a retail store only to realize later that it goes for $4 in the thrift stores. Perhaps, you have also bout a pair of pants for $50 only to realize that it retails for $10 in the thrift stores. At the minimum, people use thrift stores shopping to supplement their regular retail shopping and to save some amount in the process.
That can be a good strategy when buying clothing for your kids mainly because your kids will outgrow their clothing faster. Thrift stores provide buyers with a better opportunity to purchase high-quality clothing at a lower price. However, you should be ready to see your kids come home with shirts stained with red or ripped pant knees. If you hate thrift stores, consider the discount stores.
9. Do not buy when you can get a quality second-hand item
When selling the items you do not need anymore, some other people will be doing the same thing. Before buying a new time, look into the state sales and garage sales within your area – the many items that people are trying to sell will surprise you. Moreover, you might need to browse Craiglist regularly, because people try to sell almost anything imaginable on the platform. The prices are usually negotiable, which means that you buy benefit more. With time, you will realize that you do not need to go for the new items.
10. Do not over-insure yourself
You do not insure against all the possible risks, particularly those that you can avoid. A quick example, you do not require a prescription drug insurance coverage if you just need occasional antibiotics. Paying cash when you need prescriptions will be a better idea and will reduce your insurance premium. Furthermore, you do not need the $1,000,000 life insurance coverage if you just make $50,000 each year. Ensure that the coverage you go for will match the possibility of negative outcomes.
11. Pay your monthly bills on time
By paying late, you will end up incurring unnecessary penalty fees. Even more, your credit score will suffer and that alone might have severe effects in the long term. It will limit your ability to get loans or to rent apartments. It can even make it hard to get wireless telephone services or increase your insurance costs. The payment history is one of the important factors that lenders use to determine the amount they should lend you.
One late payment can lead to your cred score dropping by 90 points within one month. To erase the damage, you will take several years. If paying the full amount is impossible, make partial payments – that is better than making a late payment. If you have found yourself forgetting about the payment date, set the payment reminders or automatic payments.
12. Take good care of your health
Your health relates to the overall health and your longevity, but it is good for your finances too. That is the reason you should take good care of it. By taking good care of yourself, you will end spending less amount of money on common illness like flu and cold. You can save more money by avoiding the controllable health conditions like those related to obesity, inactivity, smoking and some other bad behavior.
Your energy level is another important factor associated with the health that you have to consider. When feeling better, you will be more productive, in your job or business. The energy level and health are correlated to your annual or monthly income. If you like working out, but your diet is erratic; it will be hard to maintain good health. Workout and choose your diet carefully.
13. Do not shop with your credit card, use the debit or cash instead
Some credit cards offer rewards that might be of great benefit, but you are also likely to use them as your paycheque’s extension. That is what will happen if you push your debts from one month to the other. When doing that, you will be adding more debts to the items that you have already purchased and that can potentially wipe out the rewards-based savings. With debit cards and cash, you will pay real cash and the chances of getting into debt will be very low. To monitor the amount you spend and to avoid spending more than you had budgeted, do not use a credit card.
14. Save around 20 percent of your monthly earnings
Each month, you should be able to set aside at least 20 percent of the amount you have earned. That is not about having more money for its sake – it is about avoiding the panic factors that might influence you to spend more money than you had initially planned. People with more options are able to shop for many deals and after they find them, they are able to make the payment. After you have saved more money, you will be able to continue saving more in a way that living hand-to-mouth will not be possible. Saving will take you out of the crisis management world and help you remain in control of circumstances. That is all you need to take care of your family.
Do not make rash financial decisions each time you receive your monthly income. You need to plan for the money and save the maximum possible amount. That way, you will manage to deal with emergencies as they arise and live a happier life.